Solons urged to continue supporting BBL despite Maguindanao carnage
MANILA, Philippines – The government on Tuesday told lawmakers to look at the bigger picture and to continue supporting the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law despite the Mamasapano clash, which left at least 44 policemen dead.
“It is our duty not only to those who have fallen in Mamasapano, but to all the lives which have been sacrificed over the decades, and to the yet unborn generation of Filipinos to pursue justice and peace,” Secretary Teresita Deles, peace process adviser, said in a statement after some lawmakers expressed apprehension on the current draft of the Bangsamoro basic bill.
“To sacrifice both will be to jeopardize the future of our nation and throw away what we have achieved over the years,” she said.
At least 44 members of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Special Action Force (SAF) were killed in a so-called misencounter with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). They were supposed to serve warrants of arrest on high-profile members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and suspected Malaysian terrorists. While the MILF is already working with the government on the creation of a Bangsamoro political entity, it claimed that it was not informed of the PNP operation in the area.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., in a separate statement, said that while the government recognizes the “challenge posed by the violent incident in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, it is important to keep in mind the vital objective of attaining long-term peace, stability and progress in Mindanao.”
He said lawmakers should consider the “adverse consequences of not pursuing the peace process.”
Coloma said halting the peace process may result in the return of the “old order characterized by “’warlordism,’ lawlessness, misuse of public funds and the near-total breakdown of governance.”
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